Ron Cramer’s roots in Marion County run deep. His maternal grandfather, Don F. Bosh, worked at the Marion Power Shovel as a master machinist while living on a family farm in Iberia. Cramer remembers, as a 12-year-old, pushing a reel mower for six hours to cut his great-grandfather’s grass at the family home in Marion across from the Depot. He earned $1 for helping his great-grandfather, William Bosh, a retired railroad conductor. The farm and the jobs ensured the Bosh family was financially secure through turbulent times.
Cramer’s father had a harder time during the Great Depression. When his mother died, a young Charles Cramer and his brother were placed in a Children’s Home in Galion. Charlie Cramer’s happiest childhood memories were of working on the Smith farm in Morrow County. He dreamed of working his own farm with the pretty girl who attended Iberia high school with him.
Pearl Harbor derailed those plans. Charlie Cramer joined the Marines and served honorably in World War II and Korea. When he came back home, Cramer found his high school sweetheart, Margaret Bosh, married her, and started a family. Cramer became a sharecropper. For three years, they raised black Angus cows, wheat, and hay in Shelby.
“We were poor, but we didn’t know we were poor,” Ron Cramer recalls. “We raised all of our own food on the farm.”
Amid his siblings, the border collie and many cats, Cramer has happy memories of the farm. Eventually, Cramer’s father became the postmaster in Iberia with a commission signed by President John F. Kennedy.
“They really were the Greatest Generation,” Cramer said. “They set their mind to do something and they did it. They were fearless about trying something new.”
Cramer remembers his grandfather, Don Bosh, getting called out of retirement to work with a team of engineers at the Marion Power Shovel to design the Saturn V crawler to help NASA compete in the space race.
Cramer graduated from Iberia and attended The Ohio State University in Mansfield in 1966. Tuition was just $150 each quarter. Students carried folding chairs from classroom to classroom in the new facility. After graduating, Cramer found a job teaching high school chemistry and physics in northern Ohio while attending law school in Akron.
Once he received his law license, Cramer came home to Marion. He joined Donathan, Michel, and Davis at 116 S. Main Street in 1975. Cramer enjoyed trying a range of law practices over 45 years. He has worked with many clients’ families across multiple generations.
One of Cramer’s most satisfying accomplishments has been donating millions from charitable trusts to benefit our community over 30 years. They have supported a variety of causes including Marion Palace Theatre, the Maron Y, and scholarships for students at The Ohio State University at Marion. Cramer enjoys investing in creative ideas, such as the Hands of Hope for Housing Project to address homelessness with tiny homes or new Marion Technical College programs for students in need.
“We don’t just pass out money – we pass out opportunities for nonprofits to try something. We get a huge bang for the buck at Marion Technical College,” Cramer said.
Cramer also enjoys collecting antique John Deere tractors as a way of recapturing a piece of his childhood and bonding with his father. Retired veteran Charlie Cramer enjoyed scouring junkyards and talking with other antique tractor aficionados. At one time, Cramer had ten classic and antique tractors including the model featured in “Green Acres,” a John Deere Model GP flathead.
Cramer put the tractors in the Popcorn Festival Parade for many years as well as county fairs and tractor pulls. He looks forward to showing off his 1931 Model D and Model A John Deere tractors when they hit their centennial. With an appreciation for the past and the investment in Marion’s future, the Cramer family is MarionMade!